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Biography #2

Embodying S.E.T.H. with a calm manner and assured stride is Michael Jai White, who displays his martial arts prowess near movie's end when he settles a score with Van Damme's LucDeveraux. White's voice talents are used for S.E.T.H.'s voice in the first half of the movie; his Unisol-clad, full-body version comes to life in the third act.No stranger to the extensive preparation it took for the role of S.E.T.H., White, who has been training since he was eight, holds black belts in six different forms of martial arts, including Tang Soo Do and Wushu Kung-Fu. In addition, White also studies Iaido, the art of the sword , which is taught by only a handful of masters here in the United States.White first jumped into leading man territory with a criticallyacclaimed performance in the made-for-HBO drama Tyson.Capturing his speech cadence and fight movements in the ring, White trained himself for the part, without an acting coach, by watching countless hours of Mike Tyson on tape, both in and out of the ring.

Moviegoers probably know him best in the dual role of Al Simmons and Spawn in the adaptation of the Todd MacFarlane comic book, Spawn. Last fall, he was seen as a happy-go-lucky philanderer in the comedy satire Ringmaster. Additional film credits include City of Industry, the ensemble piece 2 Days in the Valley, Ring of Fire, True Identity, Full Contact with Jerry Trimble and the original Universal Soldier, in which his Vietnam-doomed character has nothing to do with the events in the sequel. On television, he appeared in episodes of the lauded NYPD Blue and had a recurring role on the daytime drama Loving.

A classically trained actor, his extensive work on the stage includes leads and supporting turns in A Few Good Men, To Kill a Mockingbird and A Raisin in the Sun, among others. Earlier this year, he appeared opposite the Oscar-nominated Morgan Freeman in Mutiny, which was based on the true story of the Port Chicago Mutiny in 1944 that occurred after a group of more than 300 soldiers were killed on a California munitions base. It was the worst homefront disaster during World War II.

More recently, he was stealing scenes from Alec Baldwin and Andre Braugher in the caper flick Thick as Thieves, which had its American premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.

updated 28-Aug-2002


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